The Hispanic Studies Program offers students at St. Olaf an academic structure for the systematic study of Latin America and Spain. These two areas, unified by elements of a common heritage, are markedly different. Even within the Latin American region, profound geographic variations, the meeting of Hispanic and Indian cultures, and differing economic resources have contributed to the development of individual countries with highly distinctive characteristics. Such diverse and complex societies afford challenging opportunities for interdisciplinary study.
The interdisciplinary nature of the Hispanic Studies major enables students to pursue a specific area focus (the Spanish-speaking world) from the perspectives afforded by a number of disciplines.
Students may also elect to pursue a concentration in Latin American/Latino Studies.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR
The requirements for the completion of a Hispanic Studies major consist of eight courses: Spanish 270 or 271; Spanish 272, 273, or 274 (or a substitute course approved by the director of Hispanic Studies); the interdisciplinary seminar, Hispanic Studies 333, Contemporary Issues in Latin America, and five approved courses dealing with Latin America, Spain, or U.S. Latinos. These courses may be chosen from among history, economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, religion, and art, with no more than two courses in any one discipline.
Students may count one Independent Research study towards the major, and they may also count up to three study-abroad courses taken in Latin America or Spain. With the approval of the Hispanic Studies director, students may have any course with substantial Hispanic content counted toward their major.
Students should contact the Hispanic Studies director as early as possible to plan a major.
Requirements for the Latin American/Latino Studies Concentration
Students majoring in any discipline except Hispanic Studies who have an interest in Latin America and U.S. Latinos can pursue a Latin American/Latino Studies concentration, which enables them to enhance their understanding of Latin American countries and peoples, U.S. Latinos, and the interconnectedness of Latin America and the United States. Topics explored might include: the nature of social and political change, economic development, social mobility and discrimination, the role of women in society, the changing nature of Hispanic life, patterns of migration, and adaptation and challenges to cultural and artistic traditions.
The Latin American/Latino Studies Concentration is an individual verbal contract negotiated between the student and the Hispanic Studies director. (Hispanic Studies majors may not obtain a concentration in Latin American/ Latino Studies).
The requirements for the completion of the Latin American/Latino Studies Concentration consist of a minimum of five approved courses, subject to the following requirements: One of the courses must be the interdisciplinary seminar, Hispanic Studies 333, Contemporary Issues in Latin America. A maximum of two courses in a given discipline may be counted. A maximum of two courses from off-campus programs may be counted. Either Sociology 264 or ARMS 121 may be included in the concentration, but not both. In addition, an interdisciplinary paper* focusing on a theme related to the concentration must be written for one of the courses offered for the concentration. This paper will be developed in consultation with faculty advisors from two different disciplines. Students must contact the Hispanic Studies director as soon as possible to discuss this requirement.
Hispanic Studies majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many off-campus programs available to them. Foreign study opportunities in the Hispanic area currently offered to St. Olaf students include: interims in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Spain; the CIEE Program in Seville, Spain; the ACM Programs in Costa Rica, HECUA programs in Guatemala and Ecuador; and the IES and CIEE Programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Valparaíso, Chile. Students must secure prior approval for foreign study from the Hispanic Studies director.
Hispanic Studies faculty members participate in the Foreign Language Across the Curriculum program, which offers students the opportunity to use their foreign language skills in selected courses. (See FOREIGN LANGUAGES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM under Academic Programs in this catalog.)
Hispanic Studies 333 Contemporary Latin American Issues
This seminar focuses on the implications of studying Latin America, or the way in which different conceptualizations of this region have helped to shape Latin America as an object of study. Possible topics for approaching this question include the history of Latin American studies in the United States and the relation between scholarship on Latin America and U.S. policy in the region; Latin American responses to U.S. representations of the region; the production of images of “lo indigena” according to Western expectations; and indigenous cultures and globalization. Offered in alternate years. FLAC option available.
REQUIRED SPANISH COURSES
Spanish 270, Spain’s Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad) or Spanish 271, Cultural Heritage of Spain
Spanish 272, Cultural Heritage of Latin America or Spanish 273, Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic U.S
or Spanish 274, Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World or a substitute course approved by the Director of Hispanic Studies
Economics 243, Economic Development
History 125, The Maya: Colonial Times to the Present
History 240,* Major Seminar: Non-Western History
History 241, Historical Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
History 242, Modern Latin America
History 243, 20th Century Cuba
History 244, Revolutionary Cuba (Abroad)
History 340,* Non-Western Seminar
Political Science 252, Politics and Development
Political Science 257, U.S.-Latin American Relations
Political Science 264, Latin American Politics
Political Science 367, Seminar in Latin American Politics
Sociology/Anthropology 237, Forging a Latin American Culture
Sociology/Anthropology 264, Race and Class in American Culture
* When focused on a Latin American topic